The subcompact sedan segment always finds new entries once in a while, and the latest entrant is the new 2017 Xcent. Hyundai has introduced a facelifted version of the Xcent at a time when the innovative compact sedan segment is facing a stiff
competition. The winning design -Fluidic Sculpture model incorporated by Hyundai since 2007 to bring consistency and better aerodynamic levels is applied to the new Xcent too.
Hyundai has given proper updates to the new Xcent, both on the inside and outside, to make it more interesting and competitive.
The new Xcent looks more modern and progressive now with the changes made to the exterior of the car. The car looks more assertive and enticing at the first glance. New features are added on the Xcent including a new stylish front bumper, housings for the fog lamp and new LED DRLs in the top variants, redesigned headlamps, and classy tail lamps.
The eloquent looking bonnet and the front grille gives the new Xcent a bold and muscular look. The front grille looks more proportionate to the rest of the design.
The new Xcent comes with dual toned diamond cut R15 alloy wheels that enhance the car's overall road presence and appearance. Wheel air curtains, a first-in-the segment, that help to curtail the air passage around the wheel area, is an entirely new addition that results in better fuel economy and safety.
The long antennas are replaced by the futuristic shark fin antenna that not only helps in better signal connectivity but also adds a chic finish to the rear top. The rear tone bumper gives a sporty look to the rear part of the new Xcent.
When you step inside the cabin of the new Xcent, you'll definitely appreciate the efforts made by the designers to make it a more refreshing one. The dashboard looks neat with a dual-tone black and beige colors as used in Grand i10, with the new addition of cubby hole around the gear level. There is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the first-in-segment, in top-end variants capable of smartphone connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. However, to avoid driver distraction, the Bluetooth connectivity option with the phone is disabled while on the go.
The well-shaped seats are accommodative and provide good cushioning. No fatigue is experienced even after driving for an hour. The Hyundai engineers have managed to push back the rear seats to increase space and leg room. Not only that, the backrest is also reclined further than in the Grand i10 for extra comfort
Ample boot space of 407 litres is provided when compared to 376 litres offered in the new Dzire, and is more commodious than Amaze.
There is the old steering mounted audio controls with additional voice recognition button in top-end variants. Rear a/c vents, driver's seat height adjustment, new fabric upholstery, automatic climate control, glovebox cooling and electrically adjustable ORVMs are other features added on the equipment list that may draw customers into showrooms.
Overall, the new Xcent looks better assembled than the Amaze but may lack the muscular appeal of Dzire. The cabin of the new Xcent is narrower meaning three people can feel a bit of squeeze, when compared to the rich and spacious cabin of Dzire.
Dual airbags for front row passengers and immobilizer are standard features across all variants. ABS and rear camera display only come in the two top end variants: SX and SX (O). Rear defogger and 'Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlock' are features included from the midrange 'S' variant.
Dzire and Amaze offers ABS as standard which may make Xcent lagging behind in terms of safety.
Grand i10 was one of the most dynamically sorted vehicles of Hyundai and the new Xcent falls in the same category.
The new Xcent comes with 1.2 litre Kappa Dual VTVT petrol engine producing maximum power of 83PS at 6000 rpm and torque of 11.6 kg.m at 8000rpm.
The reworked 1.2 litre diesel engine U2 CRDi diesel engine produces max.power of 75PS at 4000 rpm and max. torque of 19.4 kg.m at 2250 rpm. The diesel motor is way smoother and refined than the Dzire and Amaze versions but lacks the punch.
The diesel engine is the refined one out of the two and most fuel-efficient engine with 25.4 kmpl mileage while the petrol manual transmission offers 20.2 kmpl and the automatic petrol transmission gives a mileage of 17.36 kmpl. These figures are even better than the Grand i10.
The new Xcent petrol mileage is almost same as the new Dzire and better than the Honda Amaze.The diesel versions of the new Xcent, however, lags behind the new Dzire in terms of fuel efficiency and also loses out to Honda Amaze.
Ride and Handling
The new Xcent shows a lot of mannerism and inspires confidence behind the wheels. The steering is bit heavy and a smaller steering would have been better, but the new Xcent steers and brakes perfectly. The new Xcent acquits itself with the speed-breakers and corner bumps. The handling is way better than the Amaze but not as exciting as the new Dzire behind the wheels.
The new Hyundai Xcent does most of the things with brilliance and none of the characteristics can be said to be bad. Keeping in line with the Hyundai badge of maximum features and best value for money, the new Xcent show its commitment to satisfy and delight the customers.
The new Xcent offers the best interiors in its class, some segment first features like rear a/c vents, 7-inch infotainment system and cooled glove box, and the most spacious boot in the segment. Above all, the new Xcent comes at a very competitive price tag which is Rs. 50k less than the Amaze and Rs. 30k less than the new Dzire. Hyundai with its strong market reach has definitely placed the new Xcent in a commanding position to stamp its authority in the compact sedan segment.